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July 15, 2015

Andrew Gleichert: Big-league Ambitions

Andrew Gleichert has big ambitions — medical school and playing in the NFL.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology last December, Gleichert decided to pursue his interest in medical school, as a result of shadowing one of the football team’s physicians. He is currently enrolled as a physiology major while beginning his training for a professional football career.

The Ann Arbor, Mich., native signed with an NFL agent in January and currently practices 12 hours a week at a training facility in Wixom, Michigan. His anatomy class meets three days a week.

Surrounded by a family of engineers and science teachers, Gleichert became interested in the sciences at an early age.

“I grew up really enjoying and excelling in math and the basic sciences (earth science, biology, chemistry),” said Gleichert, who played tight end and fullback positions on MSU’s football team. “When I got to college I was originally in chemical engineering, but had to switch majors due to football practice scheduling. I had already taken biochemistry courses and was intrigued with how the body processes glucose and the pathways that take place in the cells. So I chose biochemistry as my major.”

Last semester, he completed the second of two lab courses required of all BMB majors. Neil Bowlby, BMB academic specialist and undergraduate lab coordinator, noted that Gleichert had to miss some of his football practices to complete his work for the lab course.

“Managing my time was difficult,” Gleichert said. “But at the same time, football allowed me to have a very structured schedule that enabled me to plan my day. The coaches really ingrained mental toughness and self-discipline in us, so I credit them with helping me get done what needed to get done!”

Whatever the future holds for him — playing professional football, earning his medical degree . . .or both — one thing is certain: Gleichert will get done what needs to get done.

Reprinted with permission from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology newsletter.